cover image Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat

Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat

Marion Nestle. Basic, $30 (320p) ISBN 978-1-5416-9711-9

Nestle (Soda Politics) delivers a groundbreaking look at how food corporations influence nutrition research and public policy. Her focus, influenced by her own experience as a nutrition researcher, is on the myriad conflicts of interest created when food corporations fund research projects into public health. She opens with a Coca-Cola–backed study as an example of how corporations sponsor nutrition research that ultimately supports their own marketing goals—in this case, by backing researchers who showed exercise as more consequential than diet for influencing body weight. Nestle goes on to find many more examples of corporate-backed studies affecting the often misleading marketing consumers receive about the health benefits of various foods, including in the meat, yogurt, and milk industries. She also provides solutions for managing these conflicts of interest, acknowledging that not all industry-backed research is biased or false. To this end, Nestle cites several examples of organizations, such as World Obesity, that are paving the way for establishing ethical standards when using corporate funding. However, she insists that it is imperative to eventually disengage research from food industry funding altogether. General and specialist readers alike will appreciate this important message for consumers. (Nov.)